At the end of this week I’m going to be boarding a plane. Something that 2011 taught me to fear. I’ll pass the ‘if you see something, say something’ sign that I never saw as a child because back then airports were for ‘see you later’s’ not ‘possible goodbye’s’. And I’ll probably sit on the tarmac before take off and purchase my ticket to Stagecoach 2018. Why? Because fear will not win. 

I drove to work today sobbing like a baby. For the 59 people who’s lives were taken from them. For the, not only hundreds of people injured physically, but the thousands who would now face irreparable damage mentally. I admit, I’m overly emotional for not being closely affected by the largest mass shooting in US history, but I’m so fatigued by compassion for these moments that the frequency of them had me in tears.

I guess you can say I’m not shocked, i’m just shook. It’s not rare to wake up to the news of terrorism on my Facebook feed. It is however, rare to see people being more than just a graveyard for mourning. I get it, I’m sad too…this sucks. But, the definition of terrorism is to intimidate with violence. We can not be frightened to believe that this is ‘how it is’. And I refuse to allow the mixture of mental illness, selfish media propaganda and political agendas direct my heart.

This is nuts us. I am not a ‘sitting duck.’ I’m a human being.  One who donates blood, gives welcome home gifts and always shows up to meetings on time. I dance at festivals to music that everyone around the world is unified by and I take planes to different countries because I know there is more to life than knowing just one place; knowing the same people.

In the somber moments following this massacre, the hardest part [for me] to swallow isn’t just the death toll, but that no matter how many people died… none of this could have been prevented. And we will now spend the next week, month, probably years fighting with each other about the possibility of this not being true.

Because gun control. Because police negligence. Because mental illness. Because white privilege. Because Trump. Because concerts. Because because because.

How about because we’ve been hurt; we are stronger. Because we know fear; we seek courage. Because we’ve seen pain; we understand sacrifice. When everything’s a mess, and nothing’s going right. (and Taryn is quoting Avril Lavigne’s “I’m With You” lyrics) That’s your cue to be brave. It’s your moment to be loving. It’s our time to be better.



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